You don’t need permission to be a writer.
You don’t need permission to write a book.
And you don’t need permission to publish a book either.
I spent a long time waiting for someone to validate me as a writer.
I wanted the high-flying agent, and the six-figure publishing deal with one of the big publishing houses. Anything less would mean I wasn’t good enough.
Even though my first book Bloom, was birthed with a publisher, I belittled it in my head because it wasn’t one of the big ones, and I didn’t receive an advance. So it obviously wasn’t a big deal.
At that time, I was writing and publishing something online almost every day. I had quit my job, and was getting paid as a freelance writer, which was supporting me financially. I was 26, and I’d written a book that was about to be published.
Yet I still didn’t feel like I could call myself a writer.
On the odd occasion when I would tell people I’m a writer, I’d feel like a total fraud.
Who was I to wear and own a prestigious title like that?
Who was I to think what I was writing was any good?
And who was I to call myself a writer?
The truth was, I was waiting for someone to give me permission.
Permission to call myself a writer, to write a book, and have it published.
I was waiting for permission before I could allow myself to feel successful, and worthy, and good enough.
Why do we do that?
Why do we hand over our power like that to them?
The world did used to be run by these gate keepers.
The publishers, the record companies, and the fashion houses.
But not anymore. The world has changed. And they no longer have the power.
They don’t have the power to control who has a voice.
They don’t have the power to decide who’s worthy of being heard, and who’s not.
So if you’re waiting for permission to do something – to write, sing, paint, dance, act, or create – I urge you to stop waiting.
Because you don’t need it.
Nobody gets to tell you who you are, or who you can be.
Don’t beg for an agent or publisher to notice you, and tell you your art is good enough to be seen and heard. Choose to believe in yourself today. Choose yourself. Believe you’re good enough, and that the world needs your art in it.
Because I promise you, it does.
If a magazine ignores your pitch, then start your own. If no one wants to pay you what you deserve to be paid, don’t be afraid to walk away. And if a publisher rejects your manuscript, self-publish your book instead.
When they tell you you can’t, show them you can. Nothing says fuck you more than a rebellious rogue who uses rejection to fuel her fire, and proves everyone wrong.
That’s exactly what I chose to do, and I haven’t looked back since.
I’ve sold thousands of copies of my books. That’s without any kind of marketing budget or publicity. And I have girls and women emailing and messaging me all the time expressing how much the words in those pages have helped them. Healed them. Inspired them. Or empowered them.
Those books wouldn’t exist if I had waited for someone to give me permission to write them, and publish them.
It wasn’t long ago that I decided I wasn’t interested in playing the publishers old games.
I was over my dream of getting a publishing deal. Because who were they to tell me what I had to say was worth hearing?
They are the ones who place profit above all else.
They are the ones who continue to publish more books written by men, over women.
So I decided to start my own publishing house so that more women’s stories and voices could be shared and heard.
I’m not asking for permission any more. I’m doing. And it feels damn good.
So I’ll say it again. You don’t need permission to be a writer.
All you have to do is start writing today. Continue writing tomorrow, and the day after that. And voila, you’re a writer. There really is no secret to it.
Write the book you’ve always dreamed of writing, but never dared to believe you could. Believe in yourself, and back yourself to the end. Then publish it, and watch as it makes its way into the hands and hearts of women around the world.
Watch as you prove them – and your former self – wrong, as your dreams manifest into your reality.
Change careers, start that business, move continents, end a relationship. Make that movie, invest in that retreat, and host the podcast you’ve been thinking about forever.
You do not need permission from anyone, to do what you came here to do. This is your birthright.